In light of the post-Wonder Woman movie, it’s more apparent than ever that female superheroes need to be better represented in movies and on television. Although Captain Marvel will release next March, we still have a long way to go for representation of female superheroes.
Article by Stephen Cleath
To that end, I want to draw attention to a wide range of female superheroes from both Marvel’s and DC’s respective universes who are iconic role models for women of all ages and backgrounds to aspire to. I hope you enjoy a look at these awesome super-powered women!
One of the students that debuted in 2002 at the Xavier Institute, the young Afghan girl Sooraya Qadir has become a central part of a new generation of X-Men, leading with her strong moral beliefs and her ability to become a living sandstorm.
An orphan, Hallie Takahama was captured and used as a human guinea pig, which resulted in her powerful bioelectric powers. After that, she escaped and joined the team of reformed supervillains, the Thunderbolts, and became the moral center of the team. Jolt is one of my favorite superheroes!
M (aka Monet)
Undoubtedly the most enigmatic character from the Generation X comic series, Monet St. Croix was super-gifted and intelligent, but was also occasionally stuck in a catatonic state. The mystery connecting her, the diamond-skinned Penance, and the villain Emplate was one of my favourite storylines in the Generation X comic!
A personal favourite from the Guardians of the Galaxy comic, Mantis is a telepath, gifted hand-to-hand fighter, team counselor/spiritual guide, and co-carer for Groot with Rocket Raccoon when Groot is in young sapling mode.
Megan Gwynne of Wales found she had grown pixie-like wings and the ability to disperse hallucinogenic dust, and then she joined the X-Men alongside Dust after graduating from The Xavier Institute. Add in a soul dagger from the young X-Men team’s trip to Hell, and magic lessons from Dr. Strange himself, and Pixie is a formidable mutant to face off against.
Kathryn Pryde, or Kitty, as she’s known by her fellow X-Men, has been one of my all-time favorite heroes. She has the ability to phase through solid objects, hand-to-hand fighting skills taught by Wolverine, and a dragon companion she befriended named Lockheed.
A reserve member of the Avengers, Maria de Guadalupe Santiago came to the US as a ward of the Avengers’ butler, Jarvis, where the team discovered she had shape-changing abilities as a demigod, a daughter of a South American volcano goddess.
The daughter of the longtime X-Men member the Irishman, known as Banshee, Theresa Cassidy shares his abilities of flight and supersonic screams. A former member of the renegade X-Force squad led by Cable, she’s been most recently affiliated with the X-Factor investigative team in New York.
A longtime X-Man since being recruited away from her home in Africa where she was considered a goddess of the storm, Ororo Munro has been a crucial part of the X-Men team, especially when they relocated to Australia, where she served as team leader while they believed Professor Xavier to be dead.
A Scottish mutant who is endowed with the ability to transform into a wolf, Rahne Sinclair endured much hatred through her young life, but found camaraderie and a true place to belong with her teammates in X-Factor.
A genetic clone of Wolverine, Laura was enrolled in The Xavier Institute and rose to full X-Men status. Her heightened senses, healing factor, and retractable adamantium claws in her hands and feet make her a lethal addition to the younger team of X-Men.
Laurel Lance is a personal favorite of mine out of the DC universe of heroes. Her powerful Canary Cry, elite fighting skills, and effective leadership in both the Justice League and the Birds of Prey combine to make her a superhero that is tough to beat.
The peaceful side of the crime-fighting duo Hawk and Dove, Dawn Granger has the ability of flight, super-strength, and superhuman endurance & agility. She became one of my favourites during the DC crossover Blackest Night.
Kimiyo Hoshi, a Japanese doctor and astronomer, was given star-based light powers by a deity called the Monitor, and she joined the Justice League to defend Earth from villains like Shadow Thief and Starbreaker.
Shiera Saunders Hall is the first of several incarnations of the Thanagarian warrior known as Hawkgirl. Her superpowers are derived from her wings and mace, which are made of the Thanagarian Nth metal, a metal that allows her to fly both in space and on Earth.
Jennifer-Lynn Hayden is the super-powered daughter of the Silver Age hero Green Lantern (no connection to the Green Lantern in the Justice League). She has the same ability as Green Lantern, forming objects/constructs with green energy using her willpower, but she has no Green Lantern power ring.
Tatsu Yamashiro has been a longtime ally of Batman, with her samurai sword the Soultaker and martial arts skills. She is mostly connected to the clandestine superhero group The Outsiders, which was formed by Batman to take on riskier black-ops missions that the Justice League couldn’t handle.
A white martian who’s on the roster of the Teen Titans, she possesses the powers of flight, telepathy, superhuman strength, invisibility, shapeshifting, and intangibility.
Barbara Gordon, the original Bat Girl and daughter of Police Commissioner Jim Gordon, didn’t let the Joker’s attack that left her paralyzed keep her from fighting the good fight. She took the alias of Oracle and honed her hacking skills to be the behind-the-scenes support for the Birds of Prey, where she works alongside Black Canary.
The half-human/half-demon Rachel Roth overcame her past and the evil influence of her demonic father Trigon, and became a crucial piece of the Teen Titans team. Her abilities include flight, telepathy, teleportation, and psychic attacks with her Soul-Self, which takes the form of a raven of dark energy.
Mari McCabe has the Tantu totem, which allows her to conjure the abilities of any animal, including fellow superheroes such as Superman.
One of the magically gifted superheroes, Zatanna speaks spells with backwards words, allowing her to use magic to attack and defend in battles versus supervillains. She has been a core member of both the Justice League and the Justice League Dark teams.
In the near future, I’d really like to see an Avengers movie expanding their roster to include characters like Silverclaw, and possibly a TV show based on the X-Force comic book. With Cable coming off his debut in the upcoming movie Deadpool 2, there could be an expansion on the mutant superheroes, (e.g. Siryn). I also hear reliable information that Dove and her partner Hawk will be appearing in the upcoming live action TV show Titans, so I’m excited to see their characters come to life there!
Which female superheroes would you like to see on TV or in movies? Let us know in the comments!
Featured image credit: DC and Warner Bros. Pictures